WhatsApp Drags Indian Government to the court of law – WhatsApp has filed a case against the Indian Government to the Honorable High Court in Delhi seeking to block new IT regulations coming into force from 26th May 2021. It is due to compel the Facebook part Whatsapp to break privacy protections. WhatsApp is having nearly 400 million users in India. The lawsuit will escalate the struggle between the Indian Government and Facebook, in addition to other Social Media companies like Google parent Alphabet and Twitter.
The New law under the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, promulgated by the ministry of information technology, designates “significant social media intermediaries” as standing to lose protection from lawsuits and criminal prosecution if they fail to adhere to the code.
Among the new rules are requirements that big social media firms appoint Indian citizens to key compliance roles, remove content within 36 hours of a legal order, and set up a mechanism to respond to complaints. They must also use automated processes to take down pornography.
According to the lawsuit, WhatsApp has pleaded Delhi High Court to declare that one of the new rules is a violation of privacy rights in India’s constitution since it requires social media companies to identify the “first originator of information” when authorities demand it.
Whatsapp is denying to comply with new rules citing the reason that it is not practically possible to unmask only people credibly accused of wrongdoing. The Whatsapp messages are end-to-end encrypted and they need to break encryption for receivers, as well as “originators”, of messages.
Tensions grew after a Delhi Police raids on Twitter office at various places in India related to “manipulated media” early in this week. The government has also pressed the tech companies to remove not only what it has described as misinformation on the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging India, but also some criticism of the government’s response to the crisis, which is claiming thousands of lives daily.